Logos - Bible Speaks Today NT Commentaries

For the last few months I've been using the Bible Speaks Today (BST) New Testament commentary series on Logos. They supplied me with the digital copy in my Logos library for use and review. I reviewed Logos 5 in March and my review for Logos 6 will be up in a few weeks. It's an outstanding program.

The BST commentary series isn't new to me. Commentaries from this set have been a blessing to me for years and are some of my favorite commentaries because they do so well at blending Bible exposition, pastoral considerations, and theology. They are deep without isolating folks who don't have knowledge of the biblical languages. Excellent work by John Stott. 

Like any commentary series with multiple authors, you have some outstanding commentaries and a few that just don't trip your trigger. Stott's commentaries in this series (Sermon on the Mount, Acts, Romans, Galatians, Ephesians, the Timothys) are amazing. I've read the Acts commentary multiple times and used all the others I listed in part or in full. But Stott's volumes aren't the only good ones. Motyer, Clowney, and Milne are just a few of the others I've used in some form and really like. 

I've been using BST on Logos almost exclusively on my iPad. It's super quick. I have BST on the left and ESV on the right and it's the most fun I have using a commentary. I've used it on my iPhone when I forgot my iPad at home. 

Having a top notch New Testament commentary series everywhere I go is a delight. I'm currently using it Milne on the Gospel of John for my sermon series on John. I've typically used paper commentaries to read through once either in my home office or at a cafe and I take notes from it and don't look at it again. I find myself referring back more, and reworking my thoughts on a passage better, by having the commentary with me.

I've had Logos for a while and have a number of great resources to use on it. Most of the resources I've used are individual books or small sets on theology or culture. This is the first set of newer commentaries for Logos that I have and it's proven to be everything Logos has promised. I've replaced a piece of my library and I'm using it more than ever and better than ever.

What to replace next?

Check out Logos 6 and The Bible Speaks Today New Testament Commentary Series. For $99.95 you get the whole set, 22 volumes (8 are from Stott). A great deal. 

Using Logos


I haven't used Logos until the newest version, Logos 5, came out. Completely new to me except for the time I saw Logos explained at a conference years ago.

I've experienced two main feelings as I've learned how to use Logos 5: overwhelmed & excited. First, I'm overwhelmed. The power of Logos sounds amazing and yet I didn't find it simple. But I'm learning more each time I use it and I'm finally getting to that place where I know what to do. I've not only learned how to use it in a basic way, but I'm also learning how to use a few more advanced features and realizing the potential of having a large library within Logos. That's why after a little work I'm really excited to own Logos. This may be the best tool not only for studying the Bible but for studying any number of topics in theology and even culture. I'm excited because with further investment it can be a significant replacement of much of the research section of my library, making those resources far more useful than when owned in paper.

Here's how I got started with Logos and a few things I've learned about this great tool.

Early Mistakes -- I've made two big mistakes starting out. First, in the last few years I've created two different Logos accounts. I didn't realize it since I only created them try out the free app. I was logged on to one account on my MacBook and the other on my mobile devices, which made my library available on mobile but not on my MacBook. But one call to Logos for help and they had it fixed quickly by merging my accounts. Helpful, personal service.

My second mistake was trying to "wing it" with Logos. I'm sure there are some who have learned to use it by just sitting down and figuring it out, but it wasn't working for me. I needed help.

Starting With Videos -- Logos offers a number of videos on YouTube, of which I've viewed several. Most are very short and to the point. There's also help on Logos community forums, which I've used a few times. But the best starting place for me and I assume for everyone is the 13 minute "Getting Started" video on the Logos website. I've watched it more than once. It's an overview of the program with what to do as well as what to do when you don't know what to do. Playing it and pausing to try out Logos worked well. Next for me will be watching Advanced Training videos.

Things I Love About Logos...

Basic Features -- I'm not going into this too much because there's so much I could talk about. Watch a Logos 5 introduction to get a better explanation than I can give. What I will say is that there is so much Logos can do. I'm still only scratching the surface. Because of the kind of preaching I do I've used the passage searches more than topical. But the topic guide is a nice feature. 


I really like the Bible Timeline tool where you can see on a timeline what happened in history alongside biblical history, when biblical books were written, and so forth. What I'm usually scouring for in commentary introductions on one timeline. 

Look at the most interesting and helpful features in Logos 5 here.

Resources -- There are many great resources available for Logos. The first four I searched for are Grudem's Systematic, IVP Essential Reference Library, Tyndale commentaries set, and the New International Dictionary of Old Testament Theology & Exegesis. All there. But Logos isn't just books converted to digital. You can also get resources like Tim Keller's library of sermons to search through. That's pretty amazing.

Bible Reading -- I've just started a Bible reading plan through Logos - 21 Days on Faith. Logos is one of the most complex and complete ways to study the Bible, as well as a way to read the Bible devotionally. There are adjustments than can be made to plans, they can be made into group plans, etc.

Important Questions & Concerns About Logos...

What's the Cost? -- I encourage you to look over the Logos 5 Base Packages. Logos as a whole isn't cheap and buying digital resources isn't like buying Kindle books, where you almost always can spend a few dollars less (sometimes far less) for a digital book. Not the same for individual books on Logos. The paper and Kindle copies of Grudem's Systematic are both under $30 and Logos lists for $40. Yet I've seen some sets that are significantly cheaper to get as a whole on Logos (49 Tyndale commentaries for $225). The question is really how you will use these resources and what makes the best use of them. 

I thought about Logos like I thought about most Bible study software, that I'm paying for the ability to study the texts, original languages, etc. It's much more than that and the costs I believe are worth it. I'll say more about that in a little bit.

Let me add that Logos gives away a book every month and regularly has other giveaways. I just entered one today. There's also community pricing, pre-pub specials, and more. 

Logos is Slow? -- I've seen people say (and at times felt myself) that Logos is slow. And to be sure...upgrades, downloads, and indexing take some time. But every moment of "slow" is speeding up something else. You get to search those books and have more resources to use in less time than it takes to look up each paper book. Those things that take time are necessary to create one place to conduct one search and have every resource listed. You can always pause indexing and such for a time when it works better for you. The tradeoff is one of the best tools you could have for Bible study. I'll take that tradeoff. 

Paper vs Screen? -- I'm a huge fan of paper books. I'm also a big (and growing) fan of iPad and Kindle for books. While I don't ever see me replacing paper books completely, the helpfulness of being able to search a library is too good to pass up. Sure if I want to read a book from start to finish I'll often get paper or Kindle. But I can already see doing the majority of any prep work for teaching on Logos and the need to begin adding collections to my base package of resources.

I have a big personal library with many physical resources for sermon prep and Bible study and I just can't search through every book I'd like to for every sermon. I can see replacing large sections of my library with Logos. It makes each resources much more useful. 

Logos vs Other Digital Books? -- The crucial difference between Logos and other searchable, digital formats is that Logos indexes your books for one big search of your whole library. This is why a Logos book is worth more. You will use books more and at times you may not consider its usefulness because searches will find things you will never think of looking up in a number of your resources. It's hard to explain the full value of this.

Let me put it this way: Every book you own (paper, Kindle) is searchable by you. Paper using an index, table of contents, looking up highlights, or oven using a filing system by which you record helpful passages by topic. With Kindle you can search for words. But with Logos its one search through every resource at once, do more complex searches, etc. It's not even comparable as far as ease of use, time consumption, or getting best use of a resource. With my 2,400 volume library I essentially have 2,400 books I can search individually. Now imagine one search through 500 or 1,000 of the most key resources with one results list. I can imagine it, and I want it. I've only gotten started.

Conclusion -- I'm a big fan of what Logos is doing and what it can do as I continue to add resources. I encourage you to look deeper at Logos. Compare cost to things like time, fuller usefulness of resources, and similar judgments and I think it's well worth the money. I love paper books too, and how they feel in my hands and how they smell. But what I like best about books is the content and Logos makes the most of it. See more at

Evangelism: Prime the Pump


When I was in high school I worked in landscaping: trimming hedges, mowing lawns, planting trees, hooking up decorative fountains and surrounding it with decorative rock. It was hard work, but something I enjoyed as a young man. And it provided me with a killer tan.

The owner of the business lived on a farm that had a well. This wasn’t a bucket on a rope well; it was equipped with a pump. And if you’ve ever pumped water from a well you know that the pump never works right away. You have to “prime the pump” by cranking the lever a few times. A pump that hasn’t been used for a while is full of air from the pump down closer to water level. It takes a couple of pumps on the handle for the water to fill the tube that delivers it above ground. It’s those first couple of pumps that bring the water to ground level and to usefulness. 

As missionaries and evangelists for the supplier of living water, we have to prime the pump in our own hearts so that we are ready to tell all of our King. We need Gospel-readiness and Spirit-reliance right there at ground level. We need to battle with sin and push back against apathy. Evangelism is one of those things that takes God-confidence, courage, and risk. We need a heart that has been primed through dying to self, a reoriented life, a renewed mind, fixing our eyes on Jesus, filled with His Spirit, meditating on His Word, loving Him with all our strength. 

Too often we haven’t prayed as we should and wrestled with our fleeting emotions, doubts, and timidity. We haven’t developed a state of readiness and anticipation. We won’t dispense living water efficiently and effectively unless we prime the pump of our hearts, remembering who God is, what God has done, who we are, and what God has called us to do. We need daily motivation for Gospel-readiness.

When we drink from the stream of living water at the outset of our day, and throughout our day, we’ve already brought it to ground level and are ready to point others to it. We will not only find our thirst quenched, but we will be motivated by our own satisfaction in Jesus Christ to help others to quench their thirst. 

What do you do to prime the pump for evangelism? What resources do you use other than Scripture?

Advice For Parenting Young Kids

Young Kids

There's a lot of parenting advice out there. Some is great. Much of it is lacking. Some is downright harmful. With a 16 girl driving around, two middle school boys (14 & 12 yrs old) and our youngest son in 4th grade (nearly 10 yrs old), we've experienced a lot of success & struggle in our parenting. We've gotten advice from books, other parents, pastors, and our own parents. We've taken courses on parenting and had one pastor/wife and family that we learned much from and watched closely as they did so much right (radically different than most parents we'd ever seen). I wanted to share some advice for things I feel we have learned and that not enough folks are talking about. At its core, this list is a quick mind-dump of the practical advice I want to give parents with young kids after years of doing it. By no means do we do all of this perfectly. I assume you know that already.

This is probably most ideal for parents-to-be, new parents, and parents with kids under 10 years old. This isn't exhaustive, ordered, etc. It's not my top 10. There are some crucial ones that most who read this already believe and do to some extent, so I'll assume them (read Bible, pray, etc). What I will do is give one angle on each of those rather than convince you to do it in general. And while many tips are built on biblical ideas, I'm going to talk very practically and simply and not make this merely a "from-the-Bible" list. Also, I'm not dealing much with rules vs grace, an important topic. There are many things that could be added to this list, including things I failed remember. So your comments are welcome if you'd like to share your advice.

The first handful need some extra explanation so they are understood. The rest need little explanation, but I wanted to at least mention them.

Advice For Parenting Young Kids

Believe Kids Are A Blessing | Our world sees kids as a burden. The Scriptures tell us they are a blessing from the Lord. In your thinking about your children, in all you do as a parent, remember & trust that God has given them to you as a blessing. It will change how you see them and how you parent them. It hopefully will even change how many of them you have. Who wouldn't want MORE blessing? 

Read The Jesus Storybook Bible To Them | A tool we didn't have while the kids were really young, it would have been a staple of their Bible story diet. Honestly, it still was.

Pray With Your Kids Concerning Taking Risks | Yes, pray for needs and give them models of prayer, etc. But pray aloud with them about the kinds of risks God wants them to take. "God if my boys sees someone being bullied at school, give them strength to stop it even if it means they get hurt." Something like that. We also regularly pray that God would use them mightily, even if that means persecution, going far away as a missionary, etc.

Teach *First Time Obedience* | When Dad or Mom says do it, they do it. We are the parents. They are kids. Why is this important? Do you want them to obey God the first time, or to put it off? Also, if they don't obey us there are often major consequences in the future. Sometimes if they don't obey there are major consequences in the very near future. Example: We taught our children to *stop* when we say stop. We didn't chase them around at parties or baseball games or at the park. We say stop, they were taught to stop or face discipline. One of our kids was bad about running through parking lots on the way in to a store. Our *first time obedience* teaching probably saved his life or at least bodily harm more than once. But the everyday, simple things will create disciplined & respectful kids. It will also shock people around you and create opportunities to talk about why your parenting "works."

My pastor once had one child ask for a chip (adults were eating chips) and he said "Ok." Another of his children overheard and came over and asked for a chip. He said "No." The child, without hesitation, said "ok" and walked away. My pastor then told him to return and explained how happy he was that he was willing to trust him and obey even when it seemed unfair, and then gave him a chip. That's the power of this one rule when taught consistently.

ALSO, don't use the counting rule. When you count you are telling your kids they can delay obedience. "Johnny, get your coat on. Johnny! One...twooooo..." Not obeying now is disobedience. Period. Well, almost period...

Give Rules For Respectful Disagreement | Some call this an "appeal." Sometimes the demand of *first time obedience* lacks information that might change our parenting. Example. Me: "Kids, close your books. It's time for bed. Lights out." Daughter: "Dad, can I appeal?" or more simply, "Dad, can I finish this chapter. It's only one more page." Me, to all, "Yes. When Sarah's done, it's time for bed." I'm Dad and what I say goes, but I also realize my call to obedience can be adjusted.

Give Rules For Respectful Interruption | You are at a party or with your small group and kids are constantly saying "Dad! Dad! Dad!" You are teaching them to be the center of the universe. We tell our kids that when we are in a conversation with someone, they aren't allowed to interrupt rudely. The rule is, put your hand on my arm and I'll tell you when it's ok to interrupt. Sometimes I keep talking with someone for 45-60 seconds before I say to my son, "What do you need, buddy?" Don't let your kids interrupt rudely. You are the parent. Teach your kids to respect your conversation and the conversation of others. This will shock people too.

ALSO, when on the phone DO NOT allow your kids to interrupt you. It's very disrespectful when on the phone with someone talking about something important (or not) and their kids have no category that Mom or Dad is doing something important that shouldn't be interrupted. 

Give Rules For Being Respectful in Public | My kids were not allowed to be loud or run around restaurants while people are eating. It's disrespectful. Climbing on the booth next to me and annoying those around me while I tune them out is not ok. If my kid disobeys in public, I don't discipline in public. I take them to the car and when we get back inside the restaurant (or wherever) they have changed their tune. We have had humbling and amazing comments about our parenting in restaurants. Especially older adults, grandparents, can't believe how well behaved our kids were, sitting, eating, talking in acceptable levels of loudness, not being a spectacle. The spectacle was how respectful they were to others.

The Five Minute Rule (Warning) | One of the GREAT pieces of advice was using a 5 minute rule for preparing your kids to transition. Example: Kids are playing at McDonald's Playland. We don't just say "Let's go." We give them a 5 minute warning. This, to them, is permission to play longer as well as preparation that the end is near. That way when expecting *first time obedience* we aren't creating frustrated kids who were having a blast and then had parents drop the bomb on fun time. We almost never had an issue leaving something fun while other parents struggled and yelled. Such a helpful rule. This rule also works for bedtime, before leaving for something, etc.

ALSO, after doing this for a bit all I would have to do when one of the kids would look at me from the playground is hold up my hand with 5 fingers and they would call out to each other "FIVE MINUTES!" So, so helpful.

Pre-Event Preparation/Conversation | When going to meet with other people, go to a party with other families, go to a movie, whatever, we would have a short talk in the car. It was our way of preparing the kids for what was coming as well as setting our expectations for how they would act when they arrived. Example: Heading to a small group Bible study. We'd tell the kids where we were going, to remember to say "Yes Mam" or "No Mam" when asked something, to be quiet during prayer time, to be generous and let other kids play with toys, and so on. Set them up for success by reminding them just before an event of your expectations.

Titles of Respect for Adults (No First Names) | Never, EVER, let them call an adult merely by their first name. If an adult insists, you tell them (in front of your kids is fine) that's not how you are parenting them. Don't allow others to change your parenting. This is more obvious for family (Aunt Jennifer or Grandpa), but will show much fruit for everyday interaction. A member of our church will be called "Miss Gail" or "Mr. Ryan."

Use Timers | This may be what you use as a parent or what the kids are taught to use on their own depending on age. There is no "Go watch TV" for an undetermined amount of time. You get 30 minutes (or whatever). 

Sharing Is Not Requested, It's Essential | My kids would always share. That was the rule. If another kid is throwing a fit, you give it up. You take the hit. You make the peace. This wasn't about bullying, but about making it easy for the adults teaching Sunday School, babysitting, whatever. 

Boys Treat Girls Differently Than Boys | Boys are to be tough and rough and playful with boys. Treat girls with a kind of respect. Hard to describe this one, but talk to your boys about how to treat girls with honor.

Play Rough & Teach Kids To Get Over It | This one has done wonders for us. I played rough with the kids. Not hurtful or harmful, but lots of wrestling, throwing kids on beds playfully, etc. I still do it, even now that they are big enough to play rough back! When you do this and then someone at church or school is a little rough with your kids they won't whine, cry, tattle. They won't act hurt for attention. Teach them to handle rough play.

ALSO, my kids were taught that they were never as hurt as they thought they were. It was almost always true. "Get up." "You're fine." "Be tough." Many parents gasp and run to their kid on the ground who really isn't hurt all that bad but loves attention. My kids were taught to get up and keep going. Elijah got hit by a very fast pitch and it hurt him bad, but he tossed his bat aside and ran to first base. Later he told me how bad it hurt, but he had learned to be tough and get over it. 

Kids Sit With You In Church | Some will disagree, but we taught our kids to sit with us in church from birth onward. Some will think it impossible. It isn't. We saw others do it and we did it. They were minimal distractions at their worst and often no distraction at all. I could give you a lot of tips on this, but the main one is to demand *first time obedience*, which means disobedience draws consequences. That's also why you prepare them on the car ride before church of how they will sit quietly, etc.

Ask Your Kids To Forgive You | You will fail. Often. Tell your kids that you do, when you do, and ask their forgiveness. We've asked our kids several times to forgive us for not requiring *first time obedience* (when we've grown slack), for example.

Kiss Your Spouse In Front Of Them | It blesses your kids beyond measure to know their parents love each other and want to show it. Comforting. Brings a confidence in your marriage when many of their friends' parents are getting divorced.

Talking Back To Mom Is Talking Back To My Wife | I tell my kids that if/when they talk back to Mom, they are talking back to my wife (not merely their Mom). She was my wife before she became their Mom, and that means something. 

Hugs & Kisses To Friends | Teach your kids to be affectionate with others. Just this Sunday I told my youngest two to give Miss Deb a hug before we left church. No questions, they did. We don't just hug Mom and Dad, but a lot of people. 

Disagree In Front Of Your Kids | You will have to ask their forgiveness when you do it sinfully, and there are times to separate & talk when we are struggling as a couple, but it teaches your kids that no disagreement will separate us from each other. It prepares them to get married one day and see what a marriage really looks like. Messy.

Keep/Give Away | Our kids have been taught to regularly do a keep/give away day. They go through all their toys and decide what to keep and what to give away. It de-clutters things as well as teaches them how to move on, how to be generous, how to not hoard, etc.

Teach Your Kids To Sing | Music has always filled our house, and we aren't musicians or singers by any artistic standard. But singing is a part of worship and so we make it a part of life. Doesn't mean it's always worship music. Hardly. But we are singing. It's common to be working in my home office and have a child start belting out a song at the top of their lungs upstairs. It teaches them to be loud in public worship singing too.

Teach Your Kids God Loves Them More Than You | It doesn't mean I love them less than I should, but that God's love is beyond comparison.

Get In The Pool | Play with your kids. Don't just watch them play. They want it! While on vacation last summer I got in the pool and would throw a ball as the kids would leap into the pool while trying to catch the ball. Kinda like a dog. :) Another family we met there saw us doing that and became our best friends while there. Every day the kids played with us as if I was their Dad. Their kids wanted to play. Their Dad eventually decided to stop reading and join us in the pool. His kids kept nagging him until he did! Playing teaches your kids they are important to you. It's fun. It has helped us to befriend others and bless families who don't have Dads and Moms in the pool.


I cut out some as this is already too long. Hope it helps. Would love your interaction on my advice and to hear some of your own.

Chronic Suffering & Christian Hope

This is outstanding on "Longing for Wholeness." It's spot on for what my family is experiencing at the moment, and has been experiencing the last few years. Mark Talbot is apparently writing a book on profound suffering titled When the Stars Disappear. I look forward to buying that book, that has been his labor for years now, in light of this excellent teaching from Talbot at the Desiring God's Works of God Conference. Please watch or go listen to/download the audio. (via JT)

Longing for Wholeness: Chronic Suffering and Christian Hope from Desiring God on Vimeo.

Tim Keller: The Meaning of Marriage | $2.99 on Kindle

Meaning-of-marriage1The Meaning of Marriage by Tim Keller is $2.99 on Kindle. (It's now $12.99...hope you didn't miss the deal! But still, a good price for a great book.)

No idea how long this will last. But I own the physical copy & multiple other copies to give away (and use for marriage counseling). And I still bought this for Kindle. You should too. This may be the most important book written on marriage (or that will be written on marriage) for years to come.

Grab it, and tell others!  

Keller's Five Questions

Bible reading

I'm not sure I've posted this before, but even if I did it's worth putting up again. David Cooke has posted Keller's Five Questions over at Cookies Days (a blog you should check out). He first posted it in 2009, I believe.

Keller said these are five questions he asks of a biblical text as he reads it for himself. Helpful.
  1. How can I praise him?
  2. How can I confess my sins on the basis of this text?
  3. If this is really true, what wrong behavior, what harmful emotions or false attitudes result in me when I forget this? Every problem is because you have forgotten something. What problems are you facing?
  4. What should I be aspiring to do on the basis of this text?
  5. Why are you telling me this today.

Who Cares About Creationists? They Don't Know Anything

Another attempt at mass internet evangelism toward atheism via CNN & Richard Dawkins. We need to be's game on with this stuff. We need to beware not to react as mere culture warriors, but have answers for the hope that's within us. If you missed the Bill Nye video, it's worth checking out too.

Explore App - The Good Book Company

Explore app

I really like The Good Book Company. Brad Byrd is a friend and is always telling me about new resources they are putting out. But before he could even tell me about it, I noticed the Explore app on The Good Book blog and downloaded it on my phone. It's excellent.

It's a self-paced devotional that you can use daily or use as you want. You start with 28 daily devotions free as an introduction to the devotional, and then you can subscribe to more. And these aren't just written by some no-name dude behind the scenes. They come from guys like Tim Chester, Christopher Ash, and Tim Keller. 

Go to your app store and find Explore and give it a try. I think you'll like it.

Joe Thorn on the ESV Journaling Bible

Esv journ

Joe has been pestering me with multiple emails, insisting I get an ESV Journaling Bible. Now he's gone public with his love for it in his new post, "How I'm Using the ESV Journaling Bible." I'm ordering this one today. Here's a few words on how he uses the lined, wide margins...

1. Summation, Connection, and Implication.

I often write out a summation of certain truths, arguments, or passages that make things clear for me. 

2. Cross references.

Some people won’t like that the ESV Journaling Bible doesn’t have cross refernces, but I like that I get to add my own. 


I’m even throwing helpful quotes from other writers/theologians when helpful to me or those I may wind up teaching.

Check out the rest of his post. And check out the ESV Journaling Bible (also in black calfskin, natural brown leather, and other editions).

Cheap Kindle Books 6.6.11

A number of Kindle books are really cheap right now. I don't necessarily recommend every book on this list, but I put the ones I felt you would be most interested in, even if you disagree with the authors. I will *star ones I recommend most.





Romans: Commentaries & Books


I started preaching through Paul's letter to the Romans a couple of weeks ago. Thought it would be helpful to list resources/commentaries I'm using. I listed them roughly in the order of how much time I give each volume. I'm not even coming close to reading everything listed, of course. Some only get a brief glance as I need another opinion. But here's what I have and what I'll use during this series.

Most essential...

As needed and occasional...


When applicable...

Keller | Lloyd-Jones on the Efficacy of Preaching Today

Tim Keller has a new blog post on Lloyd-Jones on the Efficacy of Preaching. A blurb...

...if you make preaching central to your ministry, you are indeed expecting that the public ministry of the Word will be attractive and draw people in. At this point the Doctor takes the main objection—"they won't come"—head on. He says bluntly, "The answer is that they will come, and that they do come…" Now the Doctor was speaking of his own ministry at Westminster Chapel in central London after World War II. Church attendance throughout Europe plunged after the war, for a mixture of reasons. In that situation, he began preaching his long, theological, expositional sermons, and slowly the huge auditorium filled. His evening services were twice the size of the morning services, since people from all over London came to bring their non-Christian friends. I dare say that something similar happened to us in New York City over the past two decades, and in an analogous context. (emphasis mine)

Read the whole post: Lloyd-Jones on the Efficacy of Preaching

Open-Air Preaching


Here's my growing list of open-air preaching posts, quotes, and as I find ones worth recommending, resources. I'm only going to link the resources I like best, and there's a lot of stuff I don't like. For future reference, this page can be found under "Compass" on the right side-bar.


  1. *The Gospel in the Open-Air Again | start here
  2. Guidelines for Open-Air Preaching
  3. Open-Air Preaching is Optional?
  4. Missional Open-Air Preaching
  5. Steps Toward Open-Air Preaching
  6. Open-Air Preaching, Gospel Power, & Interruption
  7. Preaching Has Great POWER
  8. The Future of the Evangelist



First three are precursors to the open-air series above. I didn't know they were going to spark so much on the blog. 

  1. The Public Square and the Open-Air 
  2. The Kids Downtown
  3. Know Your City - Remember the Poor


Charles Spurgeon

Lectures To My Students | Two chapters on open-air preaching. Easily the most helpful stuff I've read on the subject. I believe he shows the best grasp of the goodness of and need for open-air preaching. His teaching on the how, where, when is just as relevant today as ever. Principles stay the same.

Open-Air Preaching: A sketch of it's history and remarks thereon | Not sure how much of this is from Spurgeon's book or elsewhere. 

Michael Green

Evangelism in the Early Church | One of the key sources I've used to think about open-air preaching as seen in the Bible.

Thirty Years That Changed The World: The Book of Acts for Today | There's a small section in which Green talks about Acts preaching and then proposes some ways to do open-air today. I don't love all his suggestions, but it's worth checking out.

Why Jesus Taught In Parables, Part 3


D.A. Carson in The Expositor's Bible Commentary on Matthew, Vol 2 says this in a point concerning Matthew 13:13 (pp 309-310)...

This sheds much light on the parables. It is naive to say Jesus spoke them so that everyone might more easily grasp the truth, and it is simplistic to say that the sole function of parables to outsiders was to condemn them. If Jesus simply wished to hide the truth from outsiders, he need never have spoken to them. His concern for mission (9:35-38; 10:1-10; 28:16-20) excludes that idea. So he must preach without casting his pearls before pigs (7:6). He does so in parables: i.e., in such a way as to harden and reject those who are hard of heart and to enlighten--often with further explanation--his disciples. His disciples, it must be remembered, are not just the Twelve but those who were following him and who, it is hoped, go on to do the will of the Father (12:50) and do not end up blaspheming the Spirit (12:30-32) or being ensnared by evil more thoroughly than before (12:43-45). Thus the parables spoken to the crowds do not simply convey information, nor mask it, but challenge the hearers. They do not convey esoteric content only the initiated can fathom but present the claims of the inaugurated kingdom and the prospects of its apocalyptic culmination in such a way that its implications are spelled out for those in the audience with eyes to see.

Why Jesus Taught In Parables, Part 2


Robert Stein in Jesus the Messiah gives some explanation of Jesus' use of parables (pgs 124-125)... 

Parables are "extended metaphors, which tend to teach a basic point. At times, however, the details of a parable may bear allegorical significance (Mt 13:24-30, 36-43; 22:2-10; Mk 12:1-12)."

"The parables were particularly useful for Jesus as a teaching device. Parables tend to disarm the listeners, for the meaning of a parable is often driven home before they can resist the point being made." (2 Sam 12:1-4, 7; Luke 15:1-32)

"Parables were also an effective way for Jesus to introduce potentially dangerous teachings. To talk about the arrival of the Kingdom of God naturally raised concerns on the part of Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor. Yet the statements that the Kingdom of God is 'like a mustard seed' (Lk 13:18-19) or 'like yeast' (vv 20-21) wer sufficiently enigmatic that the political authorities judged them harmless. Through his use of parables Jesus could speak about politically sensitive issues. As a result, thouse outside his circle of followers could 'listen, but never understand...look, but never perceive' (Mt 13:14). but to those within the believing commjunity such teaching were explained."

GIVEAWAY: Tim Keller | King's Cross


I've been given the chance, thanks to the fine folks at Dutton Books (@DuttonBooks) to GIVEAWAY TWO COPIES of Dr. Timothy Keller's newest book, King's Cross: The Story of the World in the Life of Jesus (Kindle | audio). It will be released on February 22nd. This is also the first book to have the Redeemer imprint, for books about faith and ministry in global culture. Pretty exciting stuff at full price, but you get the chance to WIN A FREE COPY!

Here's how it works...

STEP 1: Copy & share the following without the quote marks on Twitter (if you aren't on Twitter, use Facebook, or do BOTH!): "Want a FREE copy of King's Cross by Tim Keller? RT this & comment at Reformissionary to enter! "

STEP 2: Leave a comment below (so I can verify you did step 1). Include your full name and real email address (kept private) so I can contact the winners. For fun, guess the number of books (from my library) sitting on my desk right now. It's between 1-100.

I will randomly choose 2 winners in the late afternoon/early evening on Friday (18th).

GO! (And check out my page filled with other Tim Keller Resources)